Audit: Selma’s growing

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 26, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

City officials heard findings of an audit that shows Selma is growing financially, but Mayor James Perkins Jr. said others would try and paint a picture “of gloom and doom” for the city.

Representatives from Wilson, Price, Barranco, Blankenship & Billingsley P.C., presented audit findings in a PowerPoint presentation during Monday’s meeting of the City Council, indicating a net increase in assets and a decrease in liabilities for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2006.

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“Any time you can do that you’re in good shape,” said Billy Daniels of the Montgomery accounting firm, who spent about a month conducting the audit.

Perkins said he hoped the findings would put rumors to rest.

“The City is financially strong,” Perkins said. “All the rumors and misinformation provided in the community are just that – rumors and misinformation.”

According to the audit, the City’s net assets as of Sept. 30, 2006, minus its liabilities, totaled $26,483,274. This indicates an increase of $1,895,062 over the Sept. 30, 2005 figure. Among fund balances, which is a measure of current financial resources, governmental funds increased by $1,431,957, to a total of $10,424,473. Of that amount, $9,116,911 is unreserved and is available for future programs.

Council President George Evans presented a streamlined agenda, with timed sections calling for the meeting to adjourn by 8 p.m. The mayor’s report was allocated 30 minutes, but Perkins apologized for going over his time by an hour since the audit findings were presented during his report.

Perkins also spoke to several issues he said he would elaborate on during today’s State of the City address. Holding a copy of The Selma Times-Journal’s editorial page, Perkins said he took exception to comments made on what he called “a rouge Web site,” and in a column by Byrd Looper in Sunday’s edition, calling them forms of “domestic terrorism.”

“He’s totally misinformed,” Perkins said of Looper’s column citing the good and bad of Selma. “It’s amazing the nerve they have.”

Perkins was referring to information he said was circulated on the Web site about women working at City Hall being referred to “as whores.”

“These are married women. This is awful,” Perkins said. “This has to stop. I am asking the Council to authorize some investigation. This is absolutely wrong. It defies all logic. If that’s what people call fair politics, then they’ve lost their minds.”

Perkins plans to deliver The State of the City address at 5 p.m. at the Carl Morgan Convention Center. The public is invited to attend, and WHBB 1490 AM will air the program live over the radio.

In other business, Council members:

Placed on first reading a resolution sponsored by Councilman Johnnie Leashore taking the first steps in taking the Selma Board of Education from an 11-member appointed board, to an elected board;

Approved the appointment of Gary L. Crum to the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority;

Heard a plea from businessman David Blackmon for the City to crack down on unlicensed food establishments and “bootleg CD and DVD” sales.

Heard an invitation from Rev. Winston Williams to attend the St. Paul C.M.E. Church 116th Birthday Celebration;

Heard a plea for help from Sherry James, who said she was homeless with her 17-year-old disabled daughter;

Heard from Carolyn Powell and Callie Nelson from Dollars for Scholars, which hopes to offer $1,000 college scholarships to a student from each of the seven high schools in Dallas County;

Heard Perkins announce equipment for the Skateboard Park is scheduled for installation this week;

Heard a request from Joyce Kendrick on the Jonathan Daniels CDC, who requested the City donate land adjacent to the East Selma Fish Pond to be used to construct a housing development;

Heard plans of a Youth Town Hall Meeting sponsored by Perkins for next month.